From DT Online
SketchUp Make is a really easy to use 3D drawing application and completely free of charge! Many of the illustrations in DT Online started life in SketchUp Make, some of which have been deposited in 3D Warehouse, the on-line Open Source library which contains thousands of pre-drawn components and assemblies freely accessible from within the program.
Features and Applications
Drawings can start with simple shapes which can be extruded, joined or subtracted to create 3D forms. These can be rotated, rendered and even placed into Google Earth as if they were real objects. Many Architects use the SketchUp Pro version for their presentations, but starting to use SketchUp Make is suitable even for complete beginners and there are many SketchUp Video Tutorials to assist.
Note: SketchUp Make can also be used to create models for 3D Printers. Download SketchUp STL from the Extension Warehouse (listed under the SketchUp Make Window tab) and install the plug-in. In addition, 100s of models created by others are freely available from the SketchUp Make 3D Warehouse. These can be loaded into SketchUp Make, edited and exported as an STL file to be fed into suitable 3D Printer driver software.
- Single Core processors are hardly ever available these days and Dual Core quite adequate (unless required for gaming and video editing etc.) but Quad Core would be better especially in view of the high graphics content likely to be needed for Design and Technology use.
- Generally, the more expensive and newer processors and faster and more power efficient (although faster will almost always mean shorter battery life). Intel Core i5 and AMD Series-A8 processors or better are first choice but older Pentium or less expensive Celeron may be OK if only basic use is envisaged and speed is not a critical factor but cost is an issue.
- Laptops for Design and Technology should have at least 4Gb of RAM (preferably 8Gb), 500Gb (preferably 1Tb) Hard Drive (but SSD is better), screen resolution of no less than 1600 × 900 pixels and Dedicated Graphics Card in addition to the usual network connections.